Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Tallest Building and the Biggest Cup

A couple of weeks ago, Jon, G and I went to visit the tallest building in Korea, dubbed 63 Building because it has 63 floors (only 60 above ground, however). We headed over to the Han River where the building is located, assuming that we'd easily be able to find it since it's, you know, the biggest building in Korea (and gold). Turns out it was pretty difficult to spot actually. So we wandered around for a while and then finally saw a sign pointing us in the right direction. Inside the building is an aquarium, an Imax theater, an art gallery, and various restaurants. In order to go to the top of the tower, you have to buy a ticket for the art gallery, which is the highest elevation art gallery in the world (nice one, Korea). But you get a deal if you buy tickets to more than one attraction at a time so Jon and I also got a ticket to the 3D Imax show "Wild Oceans."

I have to say, the building was a tiny bit of a letdown. It wasn't that high, the art gallery was a well-conceived plot to get us to pay for the elevator ride (it had a few dozen photographs on the walls), and the movie "Wild Oceans" mainly centered on the overexploitation of sardines. But, all in all, I'm glad I went. Here are some pics from the highest art gallery in the world:

My favorite part of the day came after we left the building and walked to Yeouido park, which runs along the river. There were a lot of people out, and everyone was, in true Korean fashion, drinking beer.

You can see the 63 Building in the background.

We also stumbled across a jazz performance. So we stopped to watch. And then I noticed this guy:
I guess jazz fans come in all types.

Also, it's the WORLD CUP! I'm pretty excited, and so is Korea. Everything is World Cup themed and it's one of only two things the students talk about these days (the other being the upcoming final exams). Every restaurant, bar and store seems to have a large screen TV set up specifically for the cup, and men, women and children don red Red Devils t-shirts and devil horns (that light up...awesome). South Korea is looking pretty sharp (as is North Korea-- check out highlights of the Brazil game) and there are more than a few expats rooting for the USA. I, for one, have bought plenty of useless World Cup memorabilia already, including World Cup steins, a wallchart, a Brazil t-shirt, a France t-shirt, and, after unsuccessfully finding a Korea shirt in my size, a Manchester United t-shirt.* South Korea won their first match against Greece and have to play Argentina and world player of the year, Lionel Messi, tomorrow evening. Guess where I'll be when the game starts at 8:30 PM? That's right, at work. With a class full of rowdy, restless students continually asking me to check the score.

*South Korea's star player, Park Ji-Sung, plays for Manchester United, so they are extremely popular here.

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